Mary Ann Andrade
Director of Youth Ministry and Confirmation
Mary Ann was born in Hollister but moved to San Jose at the age of seven. Her parents, Abraham and Mary Andrade settled the family into St. John Vianney Parish, and her Mom continues to be active here. She has two sisters and one brother who also live nearby. (Her sisters, Alice Rodriguez and Ester Sandate, are also members of our parish. Her brother, Abe, was a member of SJV, but now live in San Martin.) All of her siblings’ children were SJV graduates. Mary Ann has one daughter who grew up in our parish and also graduated from St. John Vianney School. In her free time, Mary Ann loves spending time with her family. She likes to read, sew, quilt, and spend time at the beach.
Mary Ann was always involved in Church. In Junior High, she got involved in CYO (Catholic Youth Organization). In High School, she started teaching religious education.
When Fr. Gene O’Donnell arrived from Ireland (around 1971) to serve as Parochial Vicar at St. John Vianney, he started gathering young adults and young people to create a program for the parish youth. They started with social gatherings but eventually created a program called FLY – Full Life for Youth. A program that grew out of FLY was TIN: Those In Need. The group organized to help people in need in our community. They managed a phone line to accept requests for help, then they would go to the cupboard, fill a bag with the supplies needed, and together with an adult from the parish, they would take the supplies to the family. They built a small shed to hold the newspapers they collected for raising funds, which later turned into the TIN closet for food collection.
The Youth meetings included prayers and discussions on current issues. A Youth Mass was created, meeting at 8:00 PM on Sundays. (Eventually, the time was changed to 7:00 PM, then a few years ago it was changed to 6:00 PM, which it remains to this day.) The young leaders for the liturgy would meet on Mondays to plan the liturgy for two weeks later. They studied all the readings for the upcoming celebration then decided how they might best convey the meaning of the readings to the congregation. Sometimes they just proclaimed the readings, as is traditional, but sometimes they created a play or drama to make the readings more real to the teens. While some parishioners were surprised at these new methods of spreading the Word, Pastor Jack Cunningham just said, “Look at the number of teens involved! Just what Jesus would want!” High School students racing home from vacations on Sunday evenings so they would be in time for Mass was a sure sign of the success of their methods! We are now trying to renew that spirit and teen involvement.
Mary Ann worked at the phone company while she was in college at San Jose State. Later she joined Eastside Union High School District where she worked for many years as the coordinator of a Multi Service Team Center, retiring in 2009. She sought out many community services and brought them into the schools to work with the students. Always active at St. John Vianney, Mary Ann also worked from 1987 to 1992 for Holy Trinity Parish coordinating their Confirmation program. Mary Ann worked in Youth Ministry and Confirmation, at SJV, as a volunteer then as staff from 1971 to 2006, when she retired. When Fr. Steven Brown became pastor here in 2014, he recruited her to come back to work as Director of Youth Ministry and High School Confirmation.